Crowdsourcing Based Business Models

In Search of Evidence for Innovation 2.0

Published in: Science and Public Policy, v. 39, no. 3, June 2012, p. 318-332

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2012

by Sonja Marjanovic, Caroline Viola Fry, Joanna Chataway

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Open innovation has gained increased attention as a potential paradigm for improving innovation performance. This paper addresses crowdsourcing, an under-researched type of open innovation that is often enabled by the web. We focus on a type of crowdsourcing where financial rewards exist, where a crowd is tasked with solving problems which solution seekers anticipate to be empirically provable, but where the source of solutions is uncertain and addressing the challenge in-house perceived to be too high-risk. There is a growing recourse to crowdsourcing, but we really know little about its effectiveness, best practices, challenges and implications. We consider the shift to more open innovation trajectories over time, define crowdsourcing as an open innovation model, and clarify how crowdsourcing differs from other types of 'open' innovation (e.g.outsourcing and open-source). We explore who is crowdsourcing and how, looking at the potential diversity and core features and variables implicated in crowdsourcing models.

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